This is post #26 of a 26-session blog series entitled Two Joyful Pastors – One Great Work of Christ: A Journey with Paul, Timothy, and the Philippian Church. It was Eugene Peterson who said that Philippians is Paul’s happiest letter. Join us as we explore this joyful work of Christ as it manifest itself amongst Paul and Timothy, and the early church of Christ-followers in Philippi. Just maybe, we might learn a few secrets to finding true joy in the midst of our lives as well. Here’s the homepage for the entire series.
Today’s Lectio Divina: Give our regards to every follower of Jesus you meet. Our friends here say hello. All the Christians here, especially the believers who work in the palace of Caesar, want to be remembered to you. Receive and experience the amazing grace of the Master, Jesus Christ, deep, deep within yourselves. Philippians 4: 21-23 (MsgB)
Think of it, my friends.
The day you and I responded with our ‘Yes’ to Jesus’ amazing invitation…
Come, follow Me!
…we joined a family that is so big, so wide, so diverse, so timeless, and so amazing, the very thought of it should boggle our minds, warm our hearts, and for sure, tickle our souls!
You see, you and I, on that wonderful day we decided that this “following-Christ” thing was gonna be our life-long pursuit, we stepped into one great inheritance. A God-blessing so big that words simply fail me to explain it!
But, let me try.
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. (See Genesis 1 for more detail).
After all that (i.e. universe, stars, planets, sun, moon, earth, ocean, sky, land, mammals, fish, birds, etc.) He saved the best for last. He made you and me. Human beings, designed and engineered in the spitting image of God, Himself; and created to live life on this planet in the likeness of God’s nature and character. (Again, see Genesis 1).
Now, as we all know, there was this little slipup on our part (see Genesis 3 for the beginnings of that story and the rest of human history to fill in all the details). But even though you and I have continued to add our two cents to this staggering human deficit, none of it deterred God from putting together an out-of-this-world redemption plan that, when activated through His Son, Jesus of Nazareth, put all the broken pieces back together again, paying off our debt, and reconciling the entire fallen creation back to God, its Creator and King.
Broken but not destroyed.
Bent but not busted.
Bruised but never discarded.
And, then, just when we thought it couldn’t get any better than that, we look around and see that God has given us comrades to walk alongside us on our journey to this redemptive life!
We are not alone!
Paul, obviously, tries his best here, in the final sentences of his letter to his friends back in Philippi, to help them catch a glimpse of this one great inheritance given to us through the work of Jesus Christ.
First of all, Paul speaks of the multitude of brothers and sisters with him in Rome who are wanting the good folks back in Philippi to know that they are loved. Many of Paul’s letters do this by mentioning names, yet here the numbers must be so great, he simply writes…
All the Christians here, especially the believers who work in the palace of Caesar want to be remembered to you.
Wait a minute, Paul. Am I reading this correctly?
Here, I thought you, Timothy, and maybe a couple of other friends were toughing it out there in Rome. Strangers in a strange city. Captives, held by the Roman government?
But the way it sounds here in Paul’s concluding sentences, there are apparently quite a few folks who have gathered around the name of Jesus. Gosh, even some who actually work right in the center of the beast’s den! Caesar’s Palace! And no, this isn’t Las Vegas, this is the Big House, the inner courts of the evil empire, Rome!
Yup, friends, Jesus has even done His redemptive work right there in the Palace. Messing with people’s lives, pulling them out of the darkness, filling ‘em with His light, and sending them right back into the lion’s den, for the greater purposes of God!
You see, it just doesn’t matter where you live, how much money you make, or don’t make. It doesn’t matter if your upper class, lower class, or have no class at all!
In Jesus’ great inheritance, His royal family, there is room for anybody and everybody!
In God’s ever expanding universe, there’s room at the table for us all!
Welcome home, my dear brother or sister in Christ.
Welcome home, to the great inheritance we all share in Him!
Today’s Prayer: Jesus, I am so thankful for Paul, Timothy, and the others who left these words for us read today. This letter, written to the saints in Philippi is written proof that You’ve worked in the past, offering people of that day and age a hope, a promise, and a future. And now, here today, I celebrate the fact that I am now joined with that ever-expanding family of God. Thank You, Father God, that I am part of that great inheritance, all for Your Name’s sake and for Your Glory. Amen.
Today’s Questions to Ponder: Have I taken the time today to ponder on the great inheritance that Jesus has given me? Am I fully aware of the width, the height, and the depth of Christ’s love, and the power of this timeless message that has now spread across the nations for nearly 2,000 years? Am I willing to be an active participant in the continuation of that message, offering this good news of a great inheritance to others I meet today?
So, how are you experiencing Jesus as we ponder together on this journey into the Book of Philippians?
Two Joyful Pastors – One Great Work of Christ: A Journey with Paul, Timothy, and the Philippian Church. This post ends our series. We hope you’ve enjoyed this series of 26 blogs. Here’s the homepage for the entire series.
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